So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much! Rebecca

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Robert Burns, poet, gave us Auld Lang Syne.

Why do we sing the popular Scottish song, Auld Lang Syne, as each year passes and each new year begins?
Robert Burns is the man who brought us Auld Lang Syne Scottish bard Robert Burns brought us Auld Lang Syne.
He wrote the lyrics in 1788 but the tune we know now does not first appear with the song until after his death.He was inspired by fragments of traditional songs from earlier times.

Now countries all around the world sing this song, some with different lyrics, but with the same meaning as the original.

Read here the history of how this song became an international hit

Auld Lang Syne always makes me sad. Here is a poem I wrote:

On New Year's Eve I Cry

Auld Lang Syne provokes my tears.
Old friends, dear ones from
years gone by appear
at midnight in my mind.
Rowdy revelers, my peers begin
a bright new year.
They raise champagne and toast.

Unique moments good
and bad, will not come back
this way again. I grab
and hold on tight to golden
highlights darting by,
fleeting, disappearing
like foxfire in a mountain wood.
This party is a wake.
It must be mine.
                     ---Glenda Council Beall


  1. Ha ha, I wrote about Auld Lang Syne New Year's Eve:) The poem you wrote is quite intense...the last two lines are are haunting, hugs to you across the mountains.

  2. Oh, Glenda, as always I love your poems, but this one makes me feel your sadness too much.

  3. Lise, your blog reminded me of the poem which I wrote years ago.
    The song has always made me sad for some reason.
    Stay warm on this very cold day.

  4. It is interesting about this song. You know, as you say this song is known internationally, but the lyrics are different. I used to work for a music publishing company in Paris and we would receive tunes from everywhere and French authors would write new lyrics, sometimes not at all close to the original. As for Auld Lang Syne in France it is known as “Ce n’est qu’un au revoir mes frères” – It’s just goodbye, my brothers. It is also often sung in Free-Mason meetings and Scouts meetings during the year. The melody is from Scotland though. Here are the French lyrics: (I had never heard of the English ones.) I guess for the French lyrics, if sung at the end of the year with friends, it means not to worry, we’ll meet again during the next year.

    Faut-il nous quitter sans espoir
    Sans espoir de retour
    Faut-il nous quitter sans espoir
    De nous revoir un jour ?

    Ce n'est qu'un au revoir, mes frères,
    Ce n'est qu'un au revoir
    Oui nous nous reverrons, mes frères,
    Ce n'est qu'un au revoir.

    Which means
    Should we part without the hope of return
    Without hope of return
    Should we part without the hope
    We’ll meet again one day?

    This is just a goodbye, my brethren,
    This is just a goodbye
    Yes we’ll meet again, my brethren,
    It’s only a goodbye.

  5. Gay, thank you for loving my poems. I'm sorry this one makes you sad, but you know I don't always react as others do to special days or events. I even cried at your wedding, and I'm not sure why.

  6. When I was in college, I often helped my dad service jukeboxes and other machines as part of his coin-operated machine business when I was home for holidays and summer vacation. Around New Year's Eve, Dad put a recording of "Auld Lang Zyne" on every jukebox we serviced. Two weeks later when he returned to service the machines again, employees and customers begged him to remove the record from the jukebox because people were tired of hearing it. Thank you for sharing the history of this song.

  7. Thank you, Abbie, for this bit of history about your father and the jukebox setup.
    I didn't realize people played the song anytime other than new year's eve.


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